Project: Bionical Emas Offices
Location: Letchworth Garden City SG6, United Kingdom
Size: 4,000 sq ft
Duration: 4 weeks
Completion Year: 2021
Photographer: Oliver Pohlmann
Approaching a lease event, pharmaceutical CRO Bionical Emas decided to relocate their offices to the centre of Letchworth Garden City. A former corset factory and listed premises, the Spirella Building was tastefully restored in 1996 and is now a hub for modern businesses looking to establish their offices outside of London. While Oktra refurbished the 4,000 sq ft office space, they took care to retain period elements and honour the original architecture with a simple and open design that would maximise the natural light afforded by the building design.
Bionical Emas envisioned a professional, yet calming work environment that would improve the employee experience and welcome them back to the office after an extended period of remote working. They saw the new office as an opportunity to uplift their company culture and staff morale by encouraging communication and collaborative working. Oktra formed a close working partnership with their client’s project team; taking them on a furniture showroom tour to get a feel for their desired aesthetic and ensuring the designers had a comprehensive understanding of their brand and values.
While subtle nods to Bionical Emas’ brand reflect their global identity, a neutral colour palette allows the imposing windows to evoke the manufacturing history of the building, giving their Hertfordshire office its own distinct identity. Nature is welcomed into the space with indoor planting, while desks are positioned around the building perimeter to maximise views of the outdoor green space and promote employee wellbeing.
The new office includes three meeting rooms, a private office, a spacious breakout area and teapoint for staff, and front of house reception with a supplementary refreshment point for visitors. With a choice of where and how they work, Bionical Emas’ teams now have more autonomy over their daily work environment – from a large collaboration table, to sit and stand hot desks, to quiet areas for focused work. This workspace is designed to be a catalyst for culture change; by bringing staff together in an environment designed for team building and social interaction, Bionical Emas are putting their employees’ job satisfaction first and demonstrating their commitment to excellence through office design.